I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton

Photograph of people

Kathryn Watterson



“An extraordinary and most necessary book, I Hear My People Singing recasts American history as a whole by presenting in their own words the full lives of black Princetonians, lives forged within the utterly everyday Americanness of enslavement, segregation, and insult. This book is so very welcome, now that we are facing up to the realities of white supremacy in even so admirable a place as Princeton. Thank you, Kathryn Watterson, for letting us hear from these Princetonians so long behind the veil.”—Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People

“Kathryn Watterson has devoted her entire life as a writer to issues of justice. From the American prison system to women’s rights and the stories of people of color, few writers in this country have captured the humanity and heroism of the disenfranchised like Watterson. I Hear My People Singing stands alone in its telling of stories untold, stories essential to understanding the unwritten history of America. At this moment in time, this beautiful book is essential reading.”—Emily Mann, Artistic Director, McCarter Theatre


I Hear My People Singing adds to the growing collection of studies and memoirs of African Americans around elite white colleges and universities. Because many of these volumes have focused on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, not the twentieth, this book will extend their scope and value. This is all the more the case because the book at once reflects and reflects on the progressive racial integration of Princeton over the past half century.”—David Moltke-Hansen, former President, Historical Society of Pennsylvania